Articles

The Terri Ammerman Group pairs decades of communications and media experience with relevant, current perspective. We understand the ever-changing needs and scenarios faced by companies, executives, and media professionals. Part of our training involves examining communications scenarios in real-time, so participants can clearly see what to avoid when speaking and what to say when delivering a clear, convincing message. Our team regularly offers perspective and insights on current situations through the articles posted here.

Key Message First, Nuts & Bolts Second

Key Message First, Nuts & Bolts Second

When holding a crisis news briefing, the temptation is to start by describing a series of events in sequence from beginning to end. This may seem to make sense, until you realize you might be burying the most important message in your statement. The Minneapolis police chief may well have had this in mind when he addressed the media shortly after...

When Mom Calls…

When Mom Calls…

We love it when people show a special admiration and respect for their mothers. So, when NBA star Bam Adebayo got a phone call from his mom during a news briefing, we enjoyed the moment as he stopped taking media questions to talk with her. Adebayo displayed the kind of warmth we don’t often see in public figures and probably impressed the...

I have a YouTube Channel!

I have a YouTube Channel!

I’ve been coaching and training executives and managers my entire career. And, although much of our private coaching is for presentations, I’ve recently worked with people who have high potential, and are early in their careers who need help to develop solid communications skills. And, as I’ve been introduced to the on-line community of...

Don’t be a Crisis News Briefing No-Show

Don’t be a Crisis News Briefing No-Show

So, there’s a fire at a chemical plant and the flames and smoke can be seen for miles around. The company releases brief social media statements indicating there is no threat to the public. The news media descends on the site, expecting a company spokesperson to participate in a crisis news briefing. Instead, a county sheriff conducts the...

Empathy in the Face of Tragedy Builds Trust and Credibility

Empathy in the Face of Tragedy Builds Trust and Credibility

What is empathy and why is it so important to display it during a news briefing? Basically, empathy is showing your audience that you care about what they care about. If you succeed at this, your audience is more likely to trust and believe in you. Case in point involves the shooting deaths of five people, including a young boy, in San Jacinto...

Handle Interruptions and Maintain Control

Handle Interruptions and Maintain Control

One thing most reporters have in common is they love to interrupt the person they’re interviewing to ask another question. There are multiple reasons reporters tend to do this. But the reason shouldn’t matter to you during an interview. If you’re in the process of delivering a key message, don’t let the reporter interrupt you. It’s your job to...

You’re a Spokesperson, Not a Comedian

You’re a Spokesperson, Not a Comedian

So, you’re a spokesperson holding a news briefing on a topic that affects your company or organization. In the middle of the briefing, you get a question that you think is silly and irrelevant. You might be tempted to answer with a joke that makes fun of another person. Resist the temptation! White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre failed...

The Interview That Left Everyone Shaking Their Heads

The Interview That Left Everyone Shaking Their Heads

If an interview doesn’t serve you or your organization, don’t do it! That’s the advice we have been giving our clients for decades. Apparently, no one gave Emily Kohrs that same advice. Kohrs was the foreperson of the Atlanta grand jury that investigated whether former President Donald Trump broke any Georgia laws while trying to influence...

There’s No Victory in a War of Words

There’s No Victory in a War of Words

When you are holding a news conference or giving an interview, can you always trust reporters to stick to the topic at hand? Anyone who has dealt with the media understands the answer is “absolutely not.” When you get a question that derails you from your topic, stay cool. You may respond, “I can’t speak to that,” or “I don’t have an answer for...

Inappropriate Anger Drowns Out Message

Inappropriate Anger Drowns Out Message

When speaking in public, whether it’s a presentation, news briefing, or speech, it’s vital to maintain control of your emotions. For example, showing anger in most public settings not only distracts from your key messages, but can drown them out altogether. That’s why it was puzzling and inappropriate when a Houston politician suddenly went on an...